Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is now claiming he asked Assemblyman Vito Lopez to step down following accusations against him of sexual harassment in the workplace. These claims follow evidence in recent weeks Silver agreed to pay $100,000 to settle workplace harassment claims made against Lopez. Silver also stripped Lopez of his Assembly chairmanship, reports Gothamist.
As criticism was leveled against Silver, he responded he had originally asked Lopez to resign, but the 71-year-old Lopez was not happy to hear it. Silver told the New York Times he no longer believed Lopez would be able to fulfill his duties, but seemed to avoid the subject of the allegations altogether.
“He won’t be a committee chair anymore,” Silver told the Times, “and his ability will be impaired significantly as a legislator.” Silver, reportedly, was not able to convince Lopez to step down.
Lopez also formerly paid $32,000 to the two staffers making accusations against him, reports Gothamist. Other female staffers have also come forward, many anonymously, to report inappropriate advances made by Lopez against them.
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